Book review: Sourdough



I  enjoyed so much  Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, that when I saw Robin Sloan had a new book out, I jumped on it, without reading the synopsis. That’s what I do with authors I’ve really liked. As the title says it, Sourdough is no longer about books, but about bread! However, geeks and computers are still around!

Lois is definitely a geek. She is a programmer in a San Francisco robotic company and spends her life at her desk. So much so that she hardly has time to eat.
After a while, she gets tired of the nutritive gel her coworkers relish on, and she starts getting food from a local delivery service: bread and a delicious soup. Unfortunately, the 2 brothers running this small outfit are illegals and have to leave. As a gift to their best customer, they leave her their sourdough starter!
And a whole new adventure begins for Lois, especially as she discovers her starter has some very unusual behavior

Now, if you have ever worked with a starter, you know that things are not easy, and you can easily become its slave, as you need to feed it so often. Lois has NO idea what she’s getting into, but committed as always, she starts reading books and even building her own wood-fired brick oven! It starts in a very messy way, as always…

There was dough on the faucet. Dough on the floor. It looked like the scene of a glutenous murder committed by a careless killer.

I am fortunate to have my own baker at home (and doubly fortunate that he is not messy!!), so I could totally imagine the amazing smells the author was referring to. Thank God our starter is a more gentle soul…

But the results are so delicious that everyone wants some of her bread. Which will lead Lois to join a very special market with innovative people.

I really enjoyed this quirky book, with its mix of food and technology, creativity, geekiness (yes, you can even teach a robotic arm to crack eggs and knead bread!) and health and happiness. For really, isn’t that what happens when you start baking your own bread?

I have come to believe that food is history, of the deepest kind. Everything we eat tells a tale of ingenuity and creation, domination and injustice – and does so more vividly than any other artifact, any other media.

The book is also about humility and finding balance in your life. Even something as simple as a bread starter can teach you a great lesson. Beware of the blob-like dangers if you go over board…
Some passages were totally hilarious, especially in that innovative market.


VERDICT:  Hilarious adventures of a geek meeting an unusual sourdough starter. Even a few bacteria can teach you great life lessons. Deliciously tasty.

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Author: Robin Sloan
Publication: 9/5/2017
by Macmillan
ISBN: 9780374203108
Pages: 272
Fiction/Magical Realism


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What’s your favorite bread recipe?

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In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this ebook free of charge from the publisher through Netgalley.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.








5 thoughts on “Book review: Sourdough

  1. I should read this. My father is a baker and had his own business so I grew up with the delights of freshly made loaves. I’m now taking a course on How to make bread so I can relate to that passage about mess.


  2. Pingback: Book review: Artemis | Words And Peace

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